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I have never had a problem getting on the course as a single except on Saturday/Sunday mornings. Then, call ahead, be polite, beg and plead and you will usually get paired. It might not be when you want to play, but you will get on. BTW - some of the most memorable times I have had on the golf course have been late in the evening when I "own" the course. I play with whatever intensity I want to play - playing it seriously or hitting 2 or three balls, trying new things, and just enjoying the solitude.
I guess you know that late in the evening are when the ghosts of long deceased golfers come out to finish their rounds. If you listen closely, you'll here them. Give it a try.
Way over 35 and carry some days and push some days. Carrying is less of a hassle and truly I don't notice a great deal of difference, especially with a very lite carry bag and a reduced set of clubs. I love to feel the bag on my shoulder and hear the clatter of the clubs.
And to think, unless something miraculous happens this summer, Cottonwood Hills will likely be lost - at least as we have come to know it.
I know this means nothing to most of the people who will read this posting. However, the story of Cottonwood Hills is a tragic commentary on what poor planning and worse luck can do to a promising golf course. Cottonwood is a wonderful course, having been ranked as one of the best new courses of 2008. That it will likely make it less than 3 years before it lands in receivership is a real shame. What is even worse, those of us in central Kansas who have come to love her can do nothing about it.
BTW - don't be fooled by the articles in the local papers. Cottonwood is by no means out of the woods. Any opening in April is nothing more than a postponement of the inevitable.
Go out to a muni at 7am and watch the foursomes of older golfers tee off. Most have been at the game for years, have bags full of ancient clubs, bodies that bear the scars of heart surgeries and joint replacements, are racked with arthritis, and eyes that don't see past the end of the tee box. They don't care how far they hit the ball, their launch angles, swing speeds, or shoulder rotation. They play because they are in-touch with a game that has given them numerous hours of entertainment, camaraderie, and great memories. They play because they can.
We have become so wrapped up in what golf isn't that we have forgotten what golf is. Golf is a way to get in touch with the world around us, our inner-most aspirations, the sheer exhilaration of our body applied to work, and the dreams that all of this gives us. If you forget that, golf makes no sense. If you remember that, golf makes all the sense in the world.
You're right. I realized that I had made a mistake only after I hit the Submit Reply button and couldn't figure out how to edit my posting. (probably due to my advanced age).
I despirately wanted it to be an eagle but of course it wasn't. The hole-out was for a par - I think. Drive +1, +1 5 iron into the hazard +1 out , +1 for the topped five wood, and +1 5 wood into the cup. I think that is 5 but I may have missed something. I still believe it is the longest hole-out for a par that I have ever heard of.
A couple of years ago, I was playing a course east of Dallas with my best buddy. I was having a miserable day - nothing and I mean nothing was working. Got to the 16th which was a beautiful, long par 5, dog left. There as water on the left and a bisecting creek about 300 yds. out. It fit my eye very well so I though what the heck. I nailed my drive about 270 yds or so leaving me about 280 to the pin. I "decided" to lay up as the approach from the distance would almost impossbile lengh-wise and thus not prudent. I decided to cross the creek with a five and hit a short-iron approach.
That's where the "fun" began. I pulled my 5 iron into the water on the left. Dropped where the ball crossed the hazard. Now I'm about 270 out still, just a slightly different angle. Now I was mad, I pulled out my 5 wood. Boy was I going to show the world. Naturally I topped it. Now I'm laying 4, 250 from the hole. I'm really, really hot. Grab my 5 wood again but this time hit a scorcher. After much looking we were about to give when my buddy looks in the hole and finds my 250 yd 5 wood for an eagle. I couldn't hit a 250 yrd drive with any consistency much less a five. I could hit it again with a gun to my head. But however it got into the hole, it may have been the longest hole for par in the histry of golf.
(Be Forewarned - The following may be overly saccharin for the uninitiated!!)
Hit the clubs you dream about.
Anything else is a compromise to things that aren't really that important. What other people think is irrelevant. They have made their choices. Make yours.
Be prepared to be frustrated, to hit a few bad shots, and have most of the world cluck their collective tongues. I'm sure they are well-meaning. Their motives are pure, I'm sure. They are probably even correct - in a empirical, Vulcan way.
But they don't know what you know. They don't hear the small voice that speaks to you when to grip "the club" that you can't hear when you grip anything else.
Who knows, you may grow into those clubs that "you are not ready to own". You wouldn't be the first. You may find that they are always too much club for you. But the real question is "what club makes you smile?"
I think you know the answer to your own question. Do what you know you want to do and don't look back for a moment. Good luck.
Part of the problem that golfers have when discussing this topic is that we invariably remember the worst examples - examples that make our point. I do have to say that I am a very fast walker inspite of a fairly serious disability involving my feet and legs. However, I can walk a course as fast if not faster than most people can when riding a cart. That is not bravado, its just a fact. Most people could as well if they understood how to walk directly to your ball, think about the shot as you walk to it, don't loose 5 balls a round (incurring the requisite 10 per ball in search time), get to the green, put your bag in a convenient place, check the overal lay of the green as you walk up to it, line up your put while others are putting (unobtrusively of course), and then let the put fly. Most people are not like me however. So I can see the point of some cart riders who complain about slow walking foursomes.
Good golfers who ride their carts are not the problem. Idiots are. Unfortunately it seems there are more and more idiots these days. One of the most entertaining things you can see on a golf course is the Shriner-like manuvers that riders ahead of you make as they weave their way across every square inch of fairway, insist on riding when searching for a missing ball, and driving their carts as close to the green as physically possible.
I have a great idea for a new business. I am going to buy a field. Put a few asphalt trails on it. Hire a couple of very pretty cart girls to dispense beer and goodies. I will then rent golf carts by the hour to the fools who screw up our Saturdays with their ridiculous manuevers. They can drive them to their hearts content, stop every once in a while, curse loudly, throw a club or two, and buy enough beer to get them through the next thirty minute circuit. They're happy, they get to ride around in a real live golf cart, hang their feet off of the dash board, hassle the cart girls, and get blasted. The best part is that they don't get in the way of the rest of us - walkers and responsible cart riders.
Let's face it - the problems that we are talking about probably don't include the people who hang out on fora like this. It lies with the idiots who don't care, won't care, spend money outrageously, and make the lives of dedicated golfers like us miserable. Let's go easy on each other and be as understanding as we can. It takes all kinds. Just be responsible, please.
What a rant that was. Thanks for the opportunity to vent.
Fourputt - I am not in favor of denying anything to anyone. The problem is that so many courses are denying walkers the opportunity to walk. That's what this thread is all about. Too many courses restrict walking either directly by not allowing walkers or imbedding a cart fee in the green fee, or indirectly through walker-unfriendly course design. Instead of accusing walkers of denying those who are physically challenged the option of using a vehicle, the question is why should those of us who chose to walk be prevented from exercising
rights. A much more reasonable approach seems to be genuine multi-use courses. Unfortunately, these are not in vogue at the present time. The reason I fear is that the establishment doesn't profit from them to the extent they do from cart-only architecture. Please ride if you must but be understanding to those of us who don't.
I humbly submit that there are many courses on this side of the pond that do allow walking. Even a couple like the Bandon Dunes complex will only allow golf carts for the disabled and then only in a very limited and non-obtrusive way.
As several of the non-US posters indicate, the dedication of the establishment to golf carts is a tragic situation. It is not healthy for the sport or for participants. It is tied to revenues, golf course design, and many other things, too numerous to mention. In my humble opinion, it has had a negative effect on the quality of the game and will have long term implications for the viability of the sport. I am very impressed by the arguments of critics like Shackleford who decry the current paradigm that defines "golf" in the States. Something must be done, in my view, of the results of these unfortunate trends will be unplayable courses, a continued reliance on technology over skill, sky-high costs, and ultimately the gentrification of the sport.
The loss of Cottonwood if it is in fact lost is a terrible comment on the state of golf, IMHO. A course that was listed as high as 5th in the list of new courses you could play in 2008 is closed in 2009. I'm really afraid that it won't be the last great course to close in the near future as the economy puts irresistable pressure on economically marginal tracts. The Cottonwood developer was quoted in the local paper as "assuring" the community that CH would be reopened in April but I will believe it when I see it. If it does, I promise to the Sand Trap community, I WILL WALK IT!. It needs to be done now, before it is gone . . . maybe forever. (Even those words depress me.)
Colbert Hills' little brother in Newton, KS is around 7 miles around. I have walked most of it (ran out of time due to a very slow 2some in a cart). The difference between Sand Creek and Colbert are the hills, IMO. I am pretty hard-core but I think I might have to gulp a few times before I took CH on. I might have to forego that beatiful view on number 7. I don't know if I could survive the hike up or the thrill of the trip down.
Another course that would be a real pain to walk in Kansas is the (I'm afraid) late, Cottonwood Hills. I loved this course but I'm afraid that it is gone for the foreseeable future, a victim of the current economic situation and some really unfortunate investment strategy. It was a real hike around, full of beautiful views, challenging holes, and miles between some holes. Goodbye, I'm afraid, at least for a while, Cottonwood.